Soren just finished his first half of a Chocolate Poptart. That's right, you heard me. I gave my 7 month old a Poptart. Does that make me a bad Mom? Maybe in some circles. Do I care? Not one whit. The joy and ecstasy on his face as he consumed that chocolatey goodness was worth every lashing I may face from people who think I have now despoiled my child. It. Was. Worth. It.
Of course I pulled out the camera to get a snapshot of the aftermath.
He's soooo happy!
Close up of the Destruction
I'm glad to see the Chocolate Loving gene has been successfully passed on to yet another child of mine.
I'm officially depressed. Despondent. I knew this day was coming, I could see the signs for awhile. Knowing the end was nigh I can at least say with full honesty I did my utmost to enjoy every precious moment until it was too late. But now, as I realize that time has been taken from me and I will never get it back, I am just really bummed.
Sorens first tooth popped out.
I am a sucker for infant gummy smiles. There is nothing in this world that can make me smile instantly no matter how glum I feel like when I see one of my babies with a toothless grin facing my direction. If you dont have kids of your own, this form of pleasure is probably not one you would understand. You might even think I'm a little touched in the head for despairing over something that would seem so trivial. But if you are a Parent and you've been a witness to those glorious smiles, you might understand. Maybe you even sympathize with me a little.
My problem lies with the fact that I realize Soren is my last lil guy. And so there is a part of me that is holding tightly on to those little things I will never get to witness again as a Mom. Sure, I'll see gummy smiles on my friends babies, and when I become a Grandmother I will get to cherish those smiles of my Grandbabies almost as much as I do on my own babies. And inevitably, when I'm old and senile, and placed in a home to have wheelchair races with J, I'll be surrounded by gummy smiles galore.... but that idea freaks me out more because old people gummy smiles are in quite another category than cute infant gummy smiles, dont you think? I cant really think of anything cute about a 90 year old guy smiling with no teeth.
I took photos galore of Soren. I pleaded every night to the Powers That Be to let him stay toothless for as long as possible. Someone listened because I realize how much I lucked out that the first tooth didnt even show up until he was 7 months old. I appreciate the extra time. I really do. But I'm selfish. Greedy even. I want more time!!!!
But I can't have it. That little white nub has been playing peek a boo for the last 3 weeks and it finally pushed through entirely yesterday. For the first time I put my finger in his mouth to check and felt that little nub. And I almost cried. I didn't. I held firm on the outside. I cheered and congratulated Soren on his new stage in life. But inside I crumbled and wept. My last days of gummy smiles are gone forever.
The only pro to all of this is that I'm keeping the deal I had with Soren. He was allowed to chew my chin to his hearts content until his first tooth came through, then all bets were off. Maybe I can finally reclaim my chin as my own. Still that's not enough to make it worthwhile. So dont mind me if Im not my usual snarky and sarcastic self for awhile. I'll be deep in my Mommy Pity party with a glass of wine, some photos of my baby boys, and some tissues to wipe my tears away.
There is nothing like conversing with a three year old. It is both amusing and perplexing at the same time. Take this typical conversation I had with Ashe today.
In the afternoon while Soren was napping, I plopped down on the couch beside Ashe while he played with his monster trucks. He sidled over to me and casually zoomed his trucks up and down my legs and arms as we chatted about his day:
"So how was school today, Ashe?" "Good! I had Circle time!"(it is his favorite part about his Moms morning Out program)
"Oh yeah? And what did you do during circle time?" "I had snacks!"
"Snacks, huh? What did you have for a snack?" "Pencils."
"...Pencils...?" "Yup, pencils."
"You did not eat pencils!!!" "I did too! They were MMM, MMM good too!"
"But you don't eat pencils! You write with pencils." "Not pencils, Mommy, PENCILS!"
"Oh!!! You mean Pretzels?" "Yes. Pencils."
"Ahhh, ok. Pretzels and pencils sound a lot alike don't they? I thought you said Pencils." "I did Mommy."
"ummm....ok. What else did you do?" "I played with toys."
"Oh yeah? What toys?" "Cows."
"Cows?" "No silly, COWS!"
"..... Cars?" "Yes."
"Ahhh. You played with cars?" "No...Jamison did."
"Jamison played with cars?" "Yes."
"So what did you play with?" "Some of the girls."
"Which girls?" "I dunno, Mommy. They were just girls."
"What did you play with the girls?" He sighs"COWS, Mommy!!!"
"Oh.... Did you have fun?"
"Well good then."
"Mommy look at the clouds."
I look out the window "Yes I see them. They're way up in the sky. What else goes up in the sky?"
"Yup. What else?" "Ladybugs!"
"Yes, ladybugs too. Anything else?" "Trees!"
"Ok, sure. Trees are kind of up in the sky."
"Goobers?" "Yes, Goobers. You're a goober, Mommy."
"No I'm not." "Yes you are. And Soren is a goober, and Zavi, and Daddy, and I'm a BIG Goober!"
"Yes, you are a big goober." "And I'm a Beaulac."
"Yes, you are. So is Mommy, and Daddy, and Xavier, and Soren." "That's cause we're family."
"Yes, Ashe?" "I'm going to eat your nose now."
3 yr olds are weird. But they make life interesting.
This post contains highly emotional content so please be aware that it may not be something you wish to read. It contains information on a childs suicide so reader be aware.
One of the forums I tend to peruse is the parenting forum on city-data.com. The other day I came across a thread that really gave me a serious jolt and heavy reminder that sometimes things come up that no parent should ever, EVER have to go through. And it reminded me that I will do anything to ensure that this particular scenario would never be something we would have to go through.
The thread highlighted a news article from this past week about a 9 yr old boy who was found dead in the school nurses bathroom, having hung himself. If you wish to read the original article you can find it linked here It seemed to have come completely out of left field as no one had any clue that this would even be a potential idea in the childs mind. I can not even fathom the depths of despair the parents must be going through right now and my heart just goes out to them. Even allowing my mind to quickly dart on hypothetical scenarios makes me reel back and shudder.
This affected me in a very strong way for two reasons: the first being that this child was only a year older than my oldest child, which really struck close to home for me that this situation can happen at any age. Depression and suicide are not just adult topics anymore. It is real and it can affect children. The other reason this hit me hard is because Xavier, sweet child that he is, also has a hard time with strong emotions while tending to internalize a lot. With his ADHD and ODD sometimes he can act rashly, and other times I often wonder if he tells me everything he is feeling that is important. And while I know my son in the long run is a very happy, well adjusted child, I also understand that what he deals with via severe ADHD and ODD can do a number and has done a number on him in the past. I want to make sure that he knows that no matter what, J and I are ALWAYS there for him. And if for some reason he feels he cant not talk to us that he needs to find another adult he can trust.
I vacillated for awhile about how to go about this. In the end, I decided to show him the article, give him the facts, and have a big heart to heart. I know a lot of other parents may disagree with my decision to be very matter of fact about this, but I felt that for my son this was the best approach and I gave it a lot of thought. After discussing it with J he also agreed the best approach was to not sugar coat facts.
So the other night after dinner I asked Xavier if we could talk and that I had something important I wanted to talk about with him and he agreed. I warned him it was a serious conversation but very important. We went upstairs and I had him sit on my lap and I told him about a little boy near his age who was so sad, and that for some reason he didnt tell his parents and instead he took his life away. The news article had a picture of the boy, and Xavier stared at it while I talked. I talked about how awful he must of felt, but how sad it was he couldnt feel he could talk to someone. I told him how devastated his entire family was now, and that they can not have their precious little boy back. And I hugged him hard and looked him straight in the eye and told him that if he ever felt that sad or upset about something, that no matter what I pleaded for him to tell us. And if he couldnt he was to find an adult he trusted and tell them. And that it wouldnt matter what the scenario was, Mom and Dad would always be there for him!!!
He fervently assured me that he would never ever think of doing something like that and he promised me up and down he would always come to me or J. Both of us sat there in the chair and hugged one another fiercely, both promising to always listen and to always come for help. After awhile he began to ask questions about the boy, why it happened (they are not sure but believe bullying at school had to do with it), and why he didnt go to his parents.
I had no answer for his last question.
We talked about bullying in school, and went over what to do if he was being bullied, or saw someone being bullied, and obviously don't bully other kids because we know how bad it feels. And we cuddled.
I bring this up in my blog because it has to do with one of those parenting situations you never even think you have to worry about, but you do at least have to keep it in the back of your mind and ensure to the best of your ability that your children know you are there for them even in their darkest hours. I knew of suicide and depression, but seeing a boy just a little bit older than my own do something so tragic and so... permanent really pulled me up and made me realize that this is something I may not want to worry about, but I have to at the very least be aware of.
My sympathies to the family who lost their precious boy. I can not even begin to imagine your pain, but though I don't know you, I suffer for you. And I promise I will do my best for my son, so that he knows there are other options if he ever gets so lost.
When it's very windy, our back door vibrates like mad and gets very loud. It's annoying as hell during the day, but from the kids perspective, is very scary at night. We've tried fixing the door, but the only thing that muffles it is to open the door, shove a towel into the gap, then close and lock the door. It's not the best fix, but it's the only fix.
Last night at 3am everyone woke up to the sound of the door vibrating in full force.VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV Within 1 second, Xavier was out of bed and bawling at the top of our hallways screaming for me. I struggled out of the covers, opened our door and grumbled "It's only the door vibrating. Nothing to be scared of. We'll fix it. Go back to bed please." Of course that didnt cut it for him. And having been a kid before I get it. But being a parent who is beyond tired and realizing I have to deal with a panicking 7 yr old in the middle of the night, and knowing if he continues sobbing loudly out in the hallway next to his baby brothers door the baby will then wake up bawling, all I wanted him to do was grow up and realize there was nothing to fear. That sounds bad doesnt it? Ahh well I know I'm not going to win the parent of the year award.
Of course, hearing the screams of his older brother, Ashe wakes up and trudges over to the hallways railing and yells down "MOMMY I WANT CHOMO MILK!".... of course you do buddy. He's not scared at all, could care less about the loud VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV coming from our back door.
I trudge to the kitchen to make chocolate milk as Im trying to tell Xavier there is nothing to worry about. But no matter what I say he is not calming down and if anything starts to get more panicky. Now he's turned the vibrating door into Tornados and we're all going to die and we would never know it because we'll be sleeping and...
"Dude! You're fine! No tornados."
"How do you know???" he wails.
"Fine. I'll go check online and if there are no tornado watches or warnings you are to go straight to bed without argument. Deal?"
Handing over the chocolate milk to Ashe, Xavier and I trudge up the stairs, him walking so close behind me he keeps tripping over my heel. I'm so damn tired.
We get to the computer and I sit there waiting for the net to boot up, trying so hard to keep my head from crashing into the keyboard. Finally I see my email open up and I quickly type in the weather link. And there, blinking on my screen is 4 different warnings:
flash flood watch
flash flood warning
Damn damn damn damn damn!
Now, I've learned very quickly that there is a big difference between a watch and a warning. Watches are really nothing to worry about. But you tell that to a 7 yr old who is adamant we're all going to blow away to Oz the moment a gentle breeze tickles your face. And it's not like I can cover up the blinking alert on the screen. The boy can read well. And it's flashing so it catches his eye like candy.
Instead of being able to herd the boys back into bed with a "See, I told you so" comment, I have to now investigate further. I open the radar screen, zoom in and out, and get a handle of our location in conjunction to the storm. We're at the tail end. And of course, as I say this to Zavi, the wind all of a sudden dies down, and it gets really quiet. No more vibrations. THANK YOU!!!! (And thank you J so very very much for having the forethought to stuff a towel into the door while I dealt with the boys. I owe you!)
Suffice to stay our house still stands, there were no tornados, and I've yet to run into someone from the lollipop guild. I think we're still in NC and not Oz. I was finally able to get the boys back to bed and calm, having gone over the differences between a watch and warning and that I would stay up all night long and listen just in case (I kept my fingers crossed behind my back as I said this and passed out as soon as I could but it made Xavier feel better). But I am drinking a ton of coffee this morning and I am even more excited now to move in a few months, preferably to a place whose back door does not vibrate every time the wind blows. And I also learned to keep watches out of my deals for going back to sleep.
Being a parent permeates through everything in your life. We all know this on some level but once in awhile it comes as a shock to your system. You go out for one of those insanely rare kid free excursions, trying to be YOU, not mom, not dad, but you the person and inevitably it will still crop up to bite you in the ass, just make sure that in case you forgot for those mere hours, you can not escape your role of parentdom. And sometimes it happens in a funny (if slightly embarrassing) way.
Last night J and I went to our first concert in years that doesn't involve kid music. BC (before children) we were heavily into the music scene in Boston, going to concerts almost every other weekend it seems. J was in a band so he was out quite often. BC I would go along and help sell merchandise. Even AC, with the help of my mom to babysit we would still go out a few times a year to catch a good act. Since moving down here over 2 years ago however, we haven't had family to watch our kids and the music scene isn't as big here, so that aspect of our lives took a nose dive.
Last night though, a couple of bands we love (and one I'm sure that almost no one knows in my readers circle) was playing in Raleigh. Korpiklaani and Tyr (music vid link), two bands from Europe were touring together and we just had to go see them. (We play Korpiklaani quite often and our kids love to rock out to them.) Having my mom just move down recently this was the perfect opportunity to have some adult time to ourselves and get back to what we loved doing years ago.
So we leave the house in high spirits, grab some food, and head to the concert. The first thing I notice as we're looking for a parking space is the fact that ours is the only minivan in the area. J and I look at each other in sheepish amusement as I make this observation out loud and he said yeah he thought that too. Our only saving grace was the fact we had skull decals on the back of our van. We're still cool enough. Phew.
Then we get in to the concert and are asked for ID. Automatically J takes out a card that is normally in his wallets ID spot, and without looking at it hands it to the bouncer. It's not his ID though. It's his Lego VIP card. You know, the card you get so that with each Lego purchase you earn points to save money on more Lego purchases. Something only a parent or Lego freak would actually carry in his wallet. Yes, that Lego VIP card. The bouncer just stared at it for a moment and burst out laughing. We laughed as well once we realized what happened but it was just another reminder that no matter how hard we try to pretend otherwise, we are parents to the hilt. There is just no escaping the fact.
Aside from that, it was a fantastic concert. I believe it was the first concert I went to where I spotted the following, none of which were props for the band members either. These were solely in the crowd:
1 metal gauntlet
1 man wearing a bear skin cloak
1 3 foot Viking horn
1 man head banging while wearing a full chain mail shirt
a mosh pit where folks started to circle dance like you would expect at some ancient festival
a mosh pit where guys started swinging arm in arm like you would see centuries ago in a common tavern
Seriously it was an awesome night. I also learned that no matter how much of a parent you are, nothing makes you feel sexier than wearing a black corset. I wore my new corset shirt last night and let me tell you that I'm almost to the point where I'm going to say societies proprieties be damned, I just may take up wearing corsets on a daily basis!
Photo of Thor's Hammer courtesy of www.thorhammer.org
I am over the moon. Today was the first day since before Thanksgiving (49 days if you're counting) that both older boys were in school and I had NO PLANS!!!! Christmas can't hold a candle to this feeling of excitement! Now granted, I had Soren with me, but he passed out around 10 so I had an entire hour and 40 minutes ALL TO MYSELF! Let me repeat that again. ALL TO MYSELF!!!!!!!!
So what did I do? Nothing. And it was fanfreakingtastic. I chatted with my friend K on the phone uninterrupted. That, is a feat on it's own. I caught up on my email... uninterrupted! I drank a hot cup of coffee. Can you believe that? I totally forgot how awesome hot coffee is and how much of a difference it makes!
And, I took a shower... uninterrupted!!!! And I got to stay in as long as I wanted!! I mean who knew that hot water could actually run out even if the clothes washer/dishwasher weren't on at the same time???? I didn't know! Did you? And I got to shave both legs at the same time!!!
Beautiful, just beautiful. I was grinning the whole time. Of course, now that I had a taste of freedom, I'm craving it again. Hopefully I can keep my schedule open on Thursday and Soren will cooperate again and pass out for his morning nap.
After taking Xavier to school this morning, I allowed Ashe to play some Wii without having to fight his brother while I started in on my morning chores. He grabbed Sorens Bumbo and sat down while I wandered off to wipe counters and clean the bathroom.
As I start to sweep I hear Ashe calling for me. Knowing J is on the phone in a meeting I walk over to him in order to keep the shouting to a minimum. This was our following conversation:
"What's up honey?"
"I WANT CHOMO MILK MOMMY."
"You're chocolate milk is on the couch behind you."
"YOU GET IT FOR ME MOMMY."
"Uh, no. You can get it yourself."
"NO MOMMY, YOU MY MAID. YOU GET IT."
"....... (through gritted teeth) I am not your maid. I am your Mom!"
"YOU NOT MY MAID?"
"No, I am not."
"OH!..... THAT'S RIGHT! YOU DADDY'S MAID!" He grins mischievously as I stand there open mouthed.
I retort back "I'm not anyones maid!!!" and stalk away to nurse my ego.
I think it's time to renegotiate my pay. /harrumph!
Soren has a new nickname. I have dubbed him my Lil Seagull. Why? Well if you are familiar with the Seagulls from Nemo, and then watched him anytime food is in his vicinity you would understand. Soren is becoming much more vocal now, but his volume and consistency increases the moment his eyes touch on any food substance. It doesn't matter if it's food he cant eat. He doesn't care. He just wants food and he wants it NOW! And as far as he is concerned, all food belongs to him and him alone. You get the hairy eyeball if you even dare contemplate putting that fork filled with yummy goodness in your own mouth and not deign to give it to the young master.
Imagine if you will dinnertime. We all sit down to eat, Soren has already been nursed AND fed his own food. I go to take my first bite and I begin to realize that consistent sound nearby is my baby, reaching over his high chair, trying desperately to get a hold on anything edible:
"Heh, heh, heh, HEH, HEH,HEH!"
It reminds me of these scenes from Nemo, each and every time, which of course, sends me into silent giggles:
If you ignore his antics it just escalates until he is at max level and squirming frantically to reach anything he can jam in his mouth. It's not just dinnertime either. This morning J was making some chocolate milk for Ashe with Soren in his arms. The moment he started pouring the chocolate powder into a cup, Soren started bouncing up and down:
"He, heh, heh, HEH, HEH, HEH, HEH!!!!!"
He does it even when you feed him baby food. If you're not fast enough from one spoonful to another, he starts it up again until his mouth is full and can not make any other sound except nom nom nom.
Feeling stir crazy today, after being stuck inside all day yesterday with Xavier and myself dealing with food poisoning, J was desperate to get out of the house. So we went out to brunch. I brought food and toys for Soren and while waiting for our food to arrive, fed him his appropriate baby food which he "Hehed" through the entire time. But even after a full belly where he couldn't finish the last few bites, the moment real food arrived he ramped right back up again. He wouldn't stop until J relented and gave him a couple of bites of grits.
It's not like he isnt being fed. The boy is a champion nurser, he sucks down baby food like it's going out of style, and he is becoming a master at trying new edibles. But any stranger who may see us out in public would wonder if we're starving the poor kid (despite his hefty appearance) the way he goes on and on around food. It's cute and makes me giggle, unless he tries to steal my coffee cup. Then all bets are off.
The tooth fairy teaches children that they can sell body parts for money.
There are 3 reasons why I blog:
1. To share or vent things that go on in my life, usually as a mom, but not necessarily confined to that one aspect of who I am
2. To write down memories of those little things that no matter how much I wish to think I will always remember them, I know I wont 3 years down the road, so that I can look back reading these and say "Oh yeah!!! I remember that!!!!"
3. So that many years down the road from now, when my sons are adults and married, and they come to me and tell me they and their wife are expecting their first child, I can gleefully go to Office Max, have all of these blogs printed out, and create a book to give to them at the Baby shower, cackling with glee the entire time. I figure this will be considered good parenting (and great revenge) as I will be letting them know for real what they have gotten themselves into. Muahahaha!
Todays blog is for the latter reason.
Xavier lost another tooth yesterday. It had been loose for awhile, and it finally fell out while at school. He came home grinning madly, showing off the big gaping hole where his tooth used to be, and chattered excitedly about how the tooth fairy was going to come tonight and hand over money for this tiny little baby tooth.
He went to bed, chatting himself to sleep about what he would spend his mighty dollar bill he was going to get from the tooth fairy that night. J casually reminded me after Xavier fell asleep and I nodded that I would remember.
I totally forgot.
Now in my defense, I am flipping exhausted, both physically and mentally! I am dealing with a 6 month old who has decided to start budding his own teeth (not tooth, teeth, I can see 2 tiny baby bottom teeth almost erupting simultaneously) and is waking up every 60-90 minutes at night and just plain pissed off during the day. I am dealing with a 3 yr old who I am locked in a power struggle over edibles, I had been dealing with a lot of pathetic drama outside of the house that I didn't want to get dragged into yet some people can not take no for an answer and I had to cut some ties ( I really hate mind games for the record and frankly I don't have time for that crap). So yes I was a bad Mom, but I was a Tired Mom. I screwed up. I'm not perfect. But there were reasons behind my lack of memory.
I realized I screwed up at 6 am after nursing Soren for the third time that night when Xavier came out of his room weeping. I asked him what was wrong and he told me his tooth was still there and there was no money. I froze thinking "oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit!!! How the hell can I fix this?!?!?" Then oddly enough I had an idea. Aha! School already called in a 2 hour delay due to inclement weather. You know, cause it was 45 degrees outside and raining. A little bit. Kind of. Well not really by then. But Still!!! So I gathered Xavier in my arms and told him that it was still dark out and there was still time. And that maybe because of the bad weather (by the way honey you have 2 hours off of school! Isn't that great?) that the tooth fairy got blown off course. And maybe, if she didn't make it tonight, she will definitely be here the next night. Because obviously there has to be a good reason!!
I got him calmed down and I thought he seemed ok. I sent him to bed and told him to try and sleep because the tooth fairy would NOT come if he was awake. And then after listening to make sure he did what I asked, I booked it down the stairs and frantically searched for money, a pen, and paper.
I sat down and wrote (in flowing cursive so he couldn't recognize my handwriting) a letter from the tooth fairy explaining she got stuck in snow and by the time she got to our house he was up so she left the money downstairs and would come by the next night to grab the tooth. I then folded the letter into a cool little package that held the money and placed it by on the kitchen counter by the coffee machine. Congratulating myself for a job well done I lumbered back to bed in pure exhaustion, looking forward to just a few hours of uninterrupted sleep as it was now technically Js watch.
At 7 am J bursts into our bedroom with a look of pure panicked frustration on his face and asks me to please help him deal with Xavier because he can not right now or he will do something he may regret. This, coming from my sweet natured, MOST patient, never ruffled, loving husband. If he is like this I know it's going to be a really bad morning. So I throw on my bathrobe and head out to see what is going on.
Apparently, Xavier did not calm down. Instead he started obsessing over the fact the tooth fairy had yet to make an appearance (as far as he knew) and worked himself into a tizzy. Fine. However, he worked himself up so much and got so angry he lashed out. The bad part is he decided to lash out at his innocent younger brother, Ashe, who had been sleeping peacefully in the bottom bunk of their bunk beds...
By pouring a bottle of cold water on him while he slept.
To steal a quote from my friend Kia:
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!
Seriously???? As I enter the chaos, J had calmed Ashe down for the most part and dried him up but he was still sniffing and trying not to cry. J went over to him to try and make him feel better. Xavier was already in time out and he sat there snarling and growling. I walked over to him and asked him what his deal was, and was it true this was all about the tooth fairy. He growled at me that she never came.
"I stayed awake the whole time and she never showed up!"
"Duh kid! I told you point blank she wont show up if you're awake. That was the whole point for you to go back to bed! And before you start your shenanigans again did you notice this note over here on the counter?"
"I thought not." I walked over, opened it up, showed him the money, and read him the note. Then, I pocketed the money, told him he lost it for his behavior, and that he would now have to earn it back.
To any neighbors who heard the howl of rage that issued forth from that consequence, my apologies that it happened so early in the morning. I cut him off his howling and told him further more, the way he acted to Ashe, who was completely innocent in all this, was beyond unacceptable, and that he would also spend the entire day thinking of some way to really make it up to his little brother. And if he didn't figure out something appropriate I would.
He flipped out, and I wasn't in the mood to put up with it, so I sent him to his room to calm down. Which took about 45 minutes and a lot of screaming of "I'M CALMED DOWN MOM! MOM!!!!!! LISTEN TO ME!!!! I AM CALM!!! ARRRRRGH!" until he quieted down, actually calmed down, and did some major apologizing to the whole family.
As far as I'm concerned I'm of the mind to kill off the damn tooth fairy if this is what is going to happen if she's "late". And I can promise you she will be late again, at some point, for some kid. We parents who take on the role of a mythological creature are not the Perfect Legend. We're human.
One of the more difficult aspects of having multiple children is that invetibly you will fight the same battles with each kid. So you finally win one war with the eldest and things calm down, ony to have the next child pick up the slack. Take dinner at my house for instance:
It took J and I 4 years (!!!!) to wear down Xavier until he will finally both sit at the table and eat. That was a war hard won. We tried everything by the book, and when that didnt work, came up with our own outrageous ideas. In reality it took consistence and time. LOTS of time. Years worth actually. Even now at age 7 Xavier still tries to pull his stunt of not eating. The only thing that works for him now is leaving him by himself once we have finished our food with the understanding that when he is done he can join us, and the longer it takes the less free time before dinner he has. Only in the past few months has he finally admitted defeat and makes it a race to see who finishes dinner first. I still beat him, despite being able to carry on a conversation and feed the baby at the same time. But he generally comes in second place and still enjoys the challenge of trying to beat Mom.
J and I were finally breathing a sigh of relief when it started up again, only this time with Ashe. It took us a long time, and help from his developmental therapist to get him to even sit at the dinner table. But now he just sits there and refuses to eat. Doesnt matter what I make. I even have him choose dinners once in awhile and help me make them in the hopes that his excitement of being in charge will make him want to touch his food. Alas, nomatter how much he seems excited for it while it is cooking, the moment it touches a plate he pulls his Yucky face, shakes his head and says "I WON'T EAT IT MOMMY!"
We've now reached critical mass. He wont eat dinner, but he has no issue waking up twice a night for chocolate milk (Ovaltine for the vitamins). And frankly, J and I are barely getting sleep as it is with myself getting up many times a night for Soren and the kids bouncing out of bed bright and early for J to deal with at 5am.
I finally took a stand last night. The gloves are off. I'm in battle mode. And I'll be damned if I let a 3 yr old kick my ass. This child WILL eat....something other than chocolate milk!
Battle 1: January 5, 2010
(5:15 - 6:00pm ET)
"Dinner time boys!"
The stampeding of feet can be heard miles away as 2 boys and 1 man rush to the table. Dinner tonight is Hamburger Helper and salad. Everyone sits down and we begin to eat and discuss our day. Ashe sits there and watches, fork untouched. After awhile I turn to him and tell him to eat.
"I DON'T WANNA EAT."
"You need to eat some food, Ashe. Try a bite please."
"NO I WON'T I TOO BUSY"
"I TOO SMALL TO EAT."
"Well the only way to get bigger and strong is to eat your dinner."
"NO, I WON'T."
"If you do not eat you will go into time out."
(glares from the peanut)
(Face contorts into a scowl and he tries to stare me down)
"3. Ok dude, time out for you."
"Yup, let's go. You can eat after timeout." I carry him to time out thrashing, place him down and walk back to the table. After 3 minutes I ask him if he is ready to eat.
"NO I DON'T WANT TO EAT DINNER!"
"Do you need to stay in timeout?"
"...... um, ok, I'll check back in a bit then."
3 more minutes go by, and when I ask him again if hes ready to come out of time out he just smiles at me and shakes his head no.
"WON'T EAT, MOMMY!" The hell you won't, I'm thinking to myself. So I made him go back to the table. And I told him under no circumstances, could he leave the table until he ate.
45 minutes later, table cleared, Ashe is sobbing, food untouched, and he still refuses to even consider having one damn bite. I finally ask him if he would eat a "Chocolate" sandwich (Nutella). He considers for a moment, head tilted, and finally nods in agreement. I make him a sandwich and he eats it at the table, asking after every bite "ARE YOU HAPPY MOMMY?"
"Only if you finish the sandwich."
He finished the sandwich.
Battle 2: January 6
(5:30: - 6:37pm ET)
"Dinner time!" The stampeding of feet can be heard miles away as 2 boys and 1 man rush to the table. Dinner tonight is Riggatoni and sauce with salad.
You know what? I should just copy and paste above, minus one small detail. This time when I told Ashe to eat a noodle he just smiled at me and said "NO MOMMY I WON'T EAT. I GO TO TIMEOUT OK?"
I gave him one time out and he just sat there smiling, nodding his head, and I realized that this is what he wanted. So I got smart. Instead of time outs I just made him sit at the table. And he sat there until it was almost bedtime. Crying. Begging for a timeout instead. Begging!!!! I can not harp on this enough. I had a 3 yr old in my house, desperately wanting a timeout instead of eating!
Towards bedtime J and I realized that he would either have to eat, or neither of us would get ANY sleep tonight. I for one, cherish what little sleep I can snag and I know looking at J's slow stumble lately that is his walk, is desperate too. So I made him another Nutella sandwich and he happily ate it.
This war will be long, hardcore, and bloody. Tears will be shed. Feelings possibly hurt. I think I lost tonights battle, but I will not lose the war. I hold on to that thought like a child holds on to their blankey. But what scares me, is that once I have finally won with Ashe and he does eat, I'll have to do this all over again, with Soren.
Xavier started up school on Monday As we were sitting around the dinner table I asked him how class was. He said they had a focus class.
"What do you do in a focus class" I ask?
His response: "I don't remember."
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I've locked the kids in their bedroom for a couple of minutes so I could post this without a struggle and send some recognition to blogs I follow. (ok ok I did not REALLY lock the kids in their bedroom. They were actually playing very quietly nicely beside me for once. It's a rare phenomenon and I'm taking full advantage!!) So without further ado, here are the blogs that continually make me smile, laugh, and nod my head in understanding until I look like a bobblehead toy:
J and I have officially declared Soren to be a Mama's Boy. It's gotten to the point where he has seriously bypassed his two siblings and is now the reigning champion! The other two just did not compare to this little tyke. It's both endearing and kind of difficult to deal with. I mean, I am eating up the fact that someone out there loves me so much he just can not think of anyone (or thing ) else during his waking moments! I am flattered beyond all measure that this little guy will stop his basic necessity of survival (i.e. eating) in order to gaze lovingly into my eyes and coo sweet sonnets of love to yours truly.
However it' becoming a feat of ingenuity to just make it to the bathroom on my own without Soren wailing from heart break that I left him for such an extreme amount of time. You know, like 15 seconds. And if I try to hand him over to J just to chug my morning coffee, he sits there in Js arms with liquid puppy eyes focused on me no matter where I am, whimpering with arms held out to me. If I dont answer "THE SUMMONS" in his idea of an appropriate amount of time (30 seconds) he starts to wail. I may have to start recognizing the fact that I may only get cold coffee from now on. I dont even remember what a hot cup really tastes like.
J has even informed me that when Im trying to catch a couple hours of uninterrupted sleep in the morning after J takes over for a little while, every time he and Soren pass by our bedroom door, Soren looks at the door longingly and whimpers. He starts to jump up and down in excitement if J opens our door, and by the time I roll over in sleep induced haze, Sorens arms are open wide, he's trying to launch himself out of Js arms with a giant grin on his face, mouth open and going "GAAAAAAAAAH"! (which translates to MOMMY I MISSED YOU SOOOO MUCH! I WAS DYING OF LONELINESS!!!)
My face is incredibly dry from him giving me nonstop kisses. I love love LOVE kisses! But these kisses take up my entire face and continue when he's in the mood for a good 10 minutes. It's cute. It really is. You cant get any cuter than a 6 month old grinning at you from ear to ear and then launching himself at you, mouth open, to engulf your face and kiss/slobber your nose/eyebrows/cheek/chin/ear, straighten back up to grin at you again, then relaunch himself in for another attack. And if I kiss him back he takes that as command to go full out on slobber kisses. This would be great if it wasnt in the middle of winter with dry cold air. As it is his face, despite a lot of lotion, is chapped like crazy, and mine is starting to get there.
He wont do it for anyone else though. While he loves his daddy, J has a goatee which defends him from kiss attacks. And the boys are fast, skipping back in a micro second the moment they see the gaping baby mouth incoming, giggling as they dance away from potential attacks. So I suffer in amused silence alone, as my chin becomes the toy to gum, my cheeks get raspberried until there is so much slobber he cant get a good raspberry going anymore, or he tires out.
This age goes by so fast. I look at Ashe, my only other Mama's Boy, who has become a turncoat and is now Daddys boy all the way. So I know that one day soon the tides will turn and this will only be a memory. So while I gripe, it's only half hearted. I really do enjoy this age and it makes my heart soar when I can calm Soren with a cuddle and a kiss and know that all he really needs right now, is Mommys love. I'll take the dry skin, and the cold coffee. I know in the long run I will get them back. But I cant get these days back, once they're gone.
The kids have colds. And with colds come nights that just never seem to end. With Ashes asthma even the smallest of colds poses the potential for an attack so J and I are always on alert. Since we got ourselves a nebulizer we've stopped having to go to ER and can handle them ourselves from home, but even then it's frustrating.
When Soren gets a bad cold he usually ends up in our room either sleeping in his car seat so he can sleep upright and breathe, or propped up beside us. Of course for one night like this we deal with 4 more where he refuses to sleep back in his crib until he realizes the war is lost. On his end, I assure you.
But when you combine the two together, you have a night of no sleep.
7pm: Soren finally passes out in my arms and I put him to bed.
7:30pm: Ashe has his "air medicine" (albuterol) for his asthma and promptly passes out
9:30pm Xavier fights his bedtime (already 90 minutes later as it is) and finally passes out an hour later after several attempts of snacks, drinks, and "Can I just read one more book???"
11:08-11:30pm: Soren wakes up for his first night feeding
11:31pm: J and I finally settle down to sleep
12am: Ashe wakes up gasping for air and crying for chocolate milk. I rush up ready to give him albuterol and read Harry Potter until the medicine is done.
12:01am: Ashe has a tantrum on the floor outside of Sorens room because he does not want air medicine
12:02am: Soren wakes up screaming. Xavier sleeps blissfully through
12:02am J rushes up to take over Ashe while I go in to calm Soren down by nursing him...again
12:17am: Soren finally passes out. I tiptoe out to hear J reading Harry Potter to Ashe with the loud nebulizer going strong, lights blaring.
12:17am: Xavier blissfully sleeps through everything.
12:25am: J returns to bed and we cuddle up together and try to go to sleep
1:30am: Ashe starts yelling from the top of the stairs "DADDY! HEY DADDY! UMM MOMMY!" I WANT CHOMO MILK!!!"
1:31am: I'm in the kitchen mixing one more cup of chocolate milk for Ashe and letting him know this is it until breakfast time!
1:34 am: everyone is back in bed. Xavier blissfully sleeps through everything
1:35-2:45am: I hear Ashe singing the Star Wars song, Dora the Explorer, and yelling out "MARIO KART WHEEEE!" Xavier blissfully sleeps through it all.
3am: Ashe finally passes out
3:30am: Soren wakes up crying
3:31am: I'm up in Sorens room, checking his diaper and bring us to the rocker to nurse
3:50am: Soren is back in bed and I hobble into our own room to pass out as quickly as I can. Which, despite my pure exhaustion, still takes a long time. I keep listening for when the next issue will happen and can not fall into a deep sleep for awhile, jumping at every noise. I finally pass back out around 4:30am
5:50am: Soren wakes up to nurse. Usually by this time he will be up and at em for the day and I pass the torch to J but he decided to be nice to Daddy and go back to sleep for a couple of hours.
6:05am I go to bed, passing the torch to J and finally pass out blissfully for a few hours of uninterrupted sleep.
7am: Ashe wakes up for the day but I don't care. I'm finally comatose.